Value overseas experience

The experience and skills that migrants have gained overseas can be relevant to the job in many ways. A migrant employee can bring different approaches to problem solving, new ideas and a fresh perspective to your team. Do not discount the value that an international perspective can bring to your business.

In addition to valuable overseas experience, a migrant candidate may have other transferable skills that are relevant to your company, such as those gained from unpaid or volunteer work. It is often a good idea to ask about this experience in a job interview, as migrant candidates may not be aware of its relevance.

Scenarios – being open to migrant skills

Candidate: “I don’t have any New Zealand experience, but I have worked for similar firms overseas.”

Interviewer (closed): “They might not fit in to our Kiwi workplace environment. I need someone with local knowledge.”

Interviewer (open): “This kind of overseas experience could help to bring a new, global perspective to our business. They’ll learn to fit in with the help of our team.”


Candidate: “In my country I worked as a volunteer firefighter for three years and I also coached my son’s football team for two seasons.”

Interviewer (closed): “These aren’t relevant as they don’t demonstrate anything to do with the role.”

Interviewer (open): “These experiences show leadership ability, confidence, resilience and community-mindedness. These are all traits that can contribute to our team and will help this candidate perform well in the role.”